Friday, March 13, 2015

Elevator Lobbies Returned to Normal; Computers Back in Service

Some of the library's most popular study and gathering spaces have finally been returned to normal now that a project that replaced the ceilings in the elevator lobbies on all four lower floors has been completed.  Furniture and computers were returned to the 3rd floor lobby, the last to be finished, this week.

Removal and replacement of the ceilings in the elevator lobbies was needed to install the fire suppression (sprinkler system) that is included in the construction of the 5th/6th floor building addition. Unlike the rest of the building, the ceilings in the lobbies were made with a material containing a low level of asbestos.  They needed to be removed before the sprinkler lines above could be put in.

Removal of the ceilings required special containment areas to be set up around the lobbies and procedures for monitoring.  Once the ceilings were removed they each had to be rebuilt.  The work required coordination of numerous contractors and subcontractors--ranging from  the asbestos abatement firm to electricians, pipe fitters, dry wall installers, painters, and more.  Much of it required late evening or overnight shifts to help reduce disruption in the library for students and faculty.

All this began with the 4th floor elevator lobby way back on November 10, which served as a kind of test for the much larger 1st floor lobby and Learning Commons that was next in the queue.  The 1st floor work was so extensive that it required closure of the entire building during the intersession between the fall and spring semesters. The 2nd and 3rd floor lobbies were done over the period since.

Workers will still occasionally be seen in these areas--touching up paint, following up on punch list items needing minor fixes, etc. But the areas have all been turned back to the library as open for normal use.

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